This is a great story about a Catholic high school teacher who was honored by the school for his work with students and the community. This is the part that grabbed me:
What Mr. Skerl is probably best known for, however, is the St. Joseph of Arimathea Pallbearer Society, an organization he started in 2003 that is now the largest extracurricular activity at the school, with 300 members. That level of participation is extraordinary, since membership is restricted to juniors and seniorsâ€”nearly half of all juniors and seniors are members. What the members do is act as pallbearers for those who have no one to carry their caskets, a category that encompasses not just the homeless and indigent but people whose family and friends are too few or infirm to do that.
What a wonderful idea. In addition to the services provided to the dead and their families, this provides a wonderful benefit for the students. Too often our culture hides young people from death and dying. Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I lived for some time in a parsonage where the backyard was a cemetery. That, combined with the fact that my mom’s family was in the mortuary business, gave me a somewhat unique perspective on death and dying. It was invaluable.
It seems like a great idea for a Lutheran church or school to start up such a society for the community.